cover image The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry

The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry

David Carlson and Landis Blair. First Second, $34.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-62672-676-5

The subtitle barely captures the scope of this ambitious debut graphic novel, a mix of biography, history, social commentary, literary analysis, and more. It’s a multilayered exploration of the lives of Charlie Rizzo and his father Matt, a blind man with secrets. Charlie’s parents separated when he was young, but his mother’s death brings him back into his father’s life in Chicago. When Charlie becomes involved with petty criminals, Matt begins to reveal his past to his son, and this sweeps through the book like a tsunami of surprises and pure, dark emotion. Matt’s story involves a world of gangsters, too, but also jail, the truth of how he was blinded, and an unexpected pivotal person: thrill killer Nathan Leopold Jr., who shared his jail cell. Blair’s exceptional pen-and-ink work, which mixes the tangible world with the psychological, brings all the strands together seamlessly and powerfully. (Sept.)